Devang and Pranav Shah, managing directors of Ahmedabad-based Navratna Organisers and Developers Pvt Ltd, are currently feeling on top of the world. Their Navratna Ahmedabad Team recently clinched the inaugural Louis Philippe Cup, India’s richest domestic Pro-Golf League. The brothers duo are the brains behind some of the exquisite real estate projects in Ahmedabad. Participating in the golf tourney was aimed at promoting the city as a golfing destination and it turned out to be a well-calculated move.
“We were not a fancied team because Ahmedabad is not popular as a golfing destination, compared to Chandigarh, Bangalore and Delhi-NCR. We fielded a relatively young team comprising Vikrant Chopra, Vinod Kumar and Mithun Perera against some big stars. The move paid off as our team took home the prize money worth `36 lakh with Kumar shooting a three under over 14 holes,” says Pranav. Among its many projects, Navratna Organisers and Developers is coming up with Kalhaar Blues and Greens that boasts of a 18-hole golf course and the prestigious Louis Philippe Cup has come at the right time.
Devang and Pranav, after qualifying as engineers from Michigan University, US, and Gujarat University respectively, joined their father, Dinesh Shah, in his real estate business in 1993, and floated Navratna Organisers and Developers. “After apartment and commercial buildings, we entered the field of lifestyle housing with Kalhaar, a gated community, in 1996, offering not only common facilities like a swimming pool, tennis courts and recreational areas but even the option of bungalows with private pools,” says Devang. This was one of the first suburban projects in Ahmedabad and it established Kalhaar as a lifestyle-oriented community housing brand. Devang adds, “As I am myself a golfer with a decent handicap from 16 years, I felt that a golf project was needed in the emerging economic and lifestyle scenario in Ahmedabad. Initially, we got involved in a golf and country club, but later decided to venture into a high-quality lifestyle housing project with an international standard golf course. This led to the birth of Kalhaar Blues and Greens in 2008.’’
The brothers then met Jack Nicklaus, founder of Nicklaus Design, a golf course design firm, and convinced him to take up the design of this project. “Jack Nicklaus is the greatest of golf legends and his company is rated among the best golf design houses. His profile matched with our vision of making India’s top golf course. Another reason for the choice was that we were building a residential golf course-based estate, and Nicklaus Design is famous for creating fine golf and luxury home communities,’’ says Pranav. The course is one of India’s largest, with a length of 7,317 yards, with 14 water bodies covering over 35 acres of the course area. It is part of a huge project that will include more than 800 villas, a hotel, a club, and recreational and sports infrastructure.
Having started the golf course in March 2012, the brothers are already seeing a good response. Devang says, “The golfing culture is quickly catching up in Gujarat, with a good number of golf academies and courses that already exist in Ahmedabad and Vadodara. We meet many local golf enthusiasts every day.” However, the notable trend is a growing interest among expats — especially Japanese, Koreans, Europeans — top-notch executives and engineers, from the industrial areas of Sanand and Ahmedabad, in the project. “These golfers appreciate having an international standard designer course near their places of work and stay. With so much of action around, we feel we have created more avenues of investment,’’ says Devang.